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3 3433 07494858 3 

Christmas 
Masque 



LOUIS TYLOR 



London 

T. FtSMER Unwin 



'f 



/ 



The New York Public Library 

• • • 

BKQDK8T OF 

GUSTAVUS A. PFEIFFER 




*«._ 



A CHRISTMAS MASQUE 



Chess 

A " Christinas Masque 

By 
LOUIS TYLOR 




LONDON 
r. FISHER UNOriN 
ad Patbbnoster Squakb 



^75 



} m» HRW rote 
tbMAC UB&AAT 



' V? 



TiLDnf rtuiOAn 

I L 



Tk^ Author resei-ves all rights of translatioti and 

reproduction. 



NoH creda monna B^ria, e $er Mattina 

Per vedere unfurare^ altro offerertt 

^edergU dentro al consiglio dtvtno : ' 

Chi quelpitd surger^ e quel pud cadere, 

Daute: Paradiso xiiL 139. 



( 



CONTENTS. 

PAGB 

The Chimbs ii 

Eric 13 

Chorus op Chessmen 15 

Eric 16 

Chorus of Chessmen 18 

Black Queen's Bishop 19 

Carollers ........ 21 

Eric 22 

White Qubbn*s Knight 24 

Black Queen's Knight 28 

Black King's Bishop 29 

White King's Bishop 30 

Carollers 35 

Chorus of Chessmen . ' 36 

Black King's Castle 38 

Chorus of Black Pawns 44 

Carollers 46 



8 CONTENTS, 



PACK 

White King*s Knight 47 

Chorus of White Pawns . . . 50 

Black King's Knight 52 

Carollers • • • 53 

White King's Pawn . . . . . . S4 

White King's Castle 61 

Chorus of Black Pieces . • . . . 67 

Black Queen's Castle 68 

Carollers 72 

Chorus of BlXck Pieces 74 

Black Queen 75 

Carollers 81 

White Queen 83 

Chorus of Black Pawns 86 

White -Queen . , 87 

Chorus of Black Pieces co 

White Queen 92 

Chorus of Chessmen 95 

.White King . 99 

Black King . 105 

Eric 109 

The Adversary . . . . . .110 

The Chimes . . • in 



PROLOGUE TO THE READER FROM THE AUTHOR, 

% t 

/ know net if *iis true ; but old folks say^ I 

Thai he who tpends the eve of Christmas Day t 

A lone, and fails asleep *twixt cuffew HmH \ 

And twehfe^ and wakes b^ore the midnight chivte, \ 

Finds aU things that have known the sway of man j 

Alive^ and eager to unroll the plan I 

Of mortal destiny. Their form he sees, \ 

Their voice he hears as human : should he please \ 

To question themt they speak as those who share \ 

Man*s good and evil Fortune, If you care { 

To think what fnight befall on such an eve i 

So spent, peruse this booklet and believe | 

Though Fanty coloured, from the life I drertt : j 

Grant it a welcome Christ/Has gift to rou. I 



•»! 



i 



THE CHIMES. 

FIRST QUARTER. 

PRAISE the Lord with changeful voice% 
Loud and clear when life rejoices, 
Ix>w and sweet for death and weeping : 
Praise Him ere the hour of sleeping. 
Rest is praise : Afan trusts God*s kuping^ 

SECOND QUARTER. 

Day by day, before the breaking. 
Busy brains betimes are waking, 
Eager hands are broadcast sowing ; 
What shall prosper all unknowing. 
Failing ofiy at last succeeding^ 
Work is praiu : Man owns GocPs leadings 

THIRD QUARTER. 

Rises from the troubled city 
Discord, mingled shame and pity ; 
Shame for rest that bears no burden. 
Grief for toil that gains no guerdon. 
Strife is praise : Man feels God's guiding 
Towards a city whose abiding 
Knows not rich from poor dividing^ 



\ 






TNE CHIitES. 
FOURTH QUARTER. 

Hark I the happy Christmaa greeting. 

Sweeter yet for tach repealing ; 
Making holy day of pleasure. 

Filling Earth to Heaven's meatnre. 
Wkenfarjoy in nst front labour 

AfoH setkt selaetfer his tuighieur ; 
When his work Ike morktr raitei, 

Ftaci stt Earth shall erotrnt our firaisti 

Clock Strikes Nine, 



ERIC. 13 



ERIC'S STUDY. 

Eric asUep before a chess-table an which he has been 

folUnving a Maich-gcujie. 

ERIC {waking), 

A PLEASANT dream. Methought the smooth square 
board 
Grew rugged as the chequered field of life ; ^ 

My chessmen took a human shape and moved, 
The White with purpose good, the Black with ill. 
Behind the hosts in serried ranks arrayed 
The Powers of Light and Darkness held their place ; 
And I, half-pleased, half-puzzled, watched the game. 
Was never dream so like to waking — Nay I 
Not ** was," but ** is," for see I the living lines 
Meet and are broken : now the tide of war 
Forms islets, where the vassals cluster round 
Baron, or prelate, or castellan-bold. 
No longer easy to discern the right. 
As when the armies front to front opposed 



ERIC. 

Or judge the issue, when the scope and scheme 
Are lost in artful feint and counterfeint. 
Here, where a moment Fortune seemed to smile. 
The splintered lance and empty saddle tell 
Of fallen valour ; yet the fall of one, 
Perchance may win advantage ground for alL 
The^dang of battle rises ; now it &lls, 
The day is lost and won, and friends and foes, 
Victors and vanquished doff their warlike gear : 
And hark ! the trumpet-call gives place to song. 



CHOR US OF CHESS MBS. 1 5 



Chorus of Chessmen. 

PIECES. 

When the play is over, and the match is won. 
Times of joyous contest ended, joyous rest begun ; 
Then the players, foes no longer, only rival friends. 
Drink a partii^ health together ; so the evening ends 
When the play is over* 

PAWNS. 

When the work is over, and the reckoning cast 
Of the loss and gain the Future herits from the Past ; 
Then the struggle recommences, all its hungry need 
Written in the Other's life-blood for the child to read 
When the work is over. 

CAROLLERS [zvitA^Ut]. 

When the life is over, vdth its good and ill 

Fixed for ever, clean or unclean, just or unjust still ; 

Then the cause of right shall triumph, wrong be put to 
scorn. 

And our King shall come in glory, on that Christmas morn 

When the Life is over. 



x6 ERIC. 



ERIC. 

A game 'within a game ; not only Black 
Contends with White, as Evil strives vdth Good ; 
But lordly Pieces take one view of chess. 
And common Pawns another. So with men, 
No matter though their cause be right or wrong ; 
To those whose lot is easy, — ^wants forestalled. 
Ills cured (m: shielded, — though they bear the load. 
They bear it willingly ; aiid that we know 
Makes all the difference. To those again 
Whose work is forced by stress of daily needs ; 
Their ever-growing wants cause fresh demands 
Till higher culture only makes routine 
For mind and body lower slavery. 
And yet the right shall triumph | step by step 
Our God-claimed parentage asserts itself 
Till habit turns to instinct, making Man 
More human and less natural, and Life 
No longer toil or pastime, but a school 
Of training for a future where the prize 
Is one for conduct. Pity stays the hand 
Uplifted, Chivalry becomes a name 



ERIC. 17 

For mercy and forbearance, gentle men 

Are gentlemen in deed ; and now the game 

Is not the one we see upon the board : 

Though strong and subtle players bear the palm, 

Though strategy and courage win the crown, 

Not this the battle nor the end of life. 

Not this the victory that heralds peace, 

The Life and Peace that know not War and Death. 



1 8 CHOR US OF CHESSMEN. 



Chorus of Chessmen. 

STROPHE. 

Where is the battle? Flame in the sky. 
On earth, over sea, as the thunder rolls by, 
And Man fiercer than Jove, cUnis his bolts ere they fly : 
There is the battle. 

ANTISTROPHE. 

Where is the battle ? Warriors bold 
Move at the bidding of counsellors cold ; 
The oars for the young, but the helm for the old : 
There is the battle. 

CAROLLERS (wtfhout). 

When the day is over ; and the hire is paid, 

Think ye not your labour worthless, though the yield 

delayed. 
Toil on Earth gives fruit in Heaven, O ye faint and worn 
Who have planted in the vineyard, for the Christmas morn 
^ When the day is over. 



BLACK Q UEEN*S BISHOP. 19 



BLACK queen's BISHOP. 

* Vineyards and Christmas " seems to me confused ; 
But all your songsters take poetic license : 
And who would look in carols for a nice sense 
Of how the gifts of Nature should be used ? 

Of all men living, poets are most hateful ; 

I often thank my stars that I'm no poet. 

Why say, " You need not tell us that — ^we know it ? " 
You really do not know for what I'm gratefuL 

Off duty, chess itself becomes a mystery : 
No more we move — we only think and read, 
(The learned praise my. treatise on the Creed), 

And this is how we know so much of history. 

But poets are like economic cooks ; 
They get ideas so tough that none can chew them. 
And then of these they make a hash and steW them 

Served up with spice for those that read their books. 



lo BLACK QUEEirS BISHOP, 

Poetry is what a homely English writer 
Called dirt : •* the right thing, only in the wrong place." 
In simple prose, a castle is a strong place. 

And I, Episcopus ; behold my mitre 1 

Each has his rank, and knows his proper station ; 
Pawn, Knight or Castje, Bishop, Consort, King : 
Black versus White. Our famous contests bring 

Men to look on and learn exercitation. 

We move ourselves, and though the King (God bless him !) 
Is somewhat weak, his able Consort leans 
Upon the Church (this ruby was the Queen*s), 

And so he swa3rs as we discreetly press him. 

But in a mess your poet needs must dish up 
Church, fortress, safeguard, overseer, protection, 
Till I forget my hours for slight refection. 

And whether I*m a Castle or a Bishop. 

And tlien he rings the philosophic changes 
On "moves and motives," " rules and rulers," till 
Against Authority he sets Free Will, 

And private judgment all our plans deranges. 



CAROLLERS. 21 



CAROLLERS (wtthotU), 

When the night is over, and the yictor*s wreath 
Faded and forgotten. Love shall conquer Death ; 
Tis for gladness, since our Saviour on to earth was bom, 
That our evergreens betoken Heaven's Christmas mom 

When the night is over. 

KRIC. 

Fit song for Christmastide. My spirit springs 
To meet the thought, as leaps the soldier's heart 
At sound of the old regimental march ; 
Springs to fall bock : an hundred times have I, 
An hundred million times have wiser men 
Grappled with this same question : '* If the wrong 
Must have an ending, why, in God's great name, 
Had it begixming ? " None can say that wrong 
Exists not, for we feel it in ourselves : 
It matters not by whose defect it comes. 
Another's, or our own ; tlirough sheer mistake. 
Or crime, or simply through an aimless chance : 



aa ERIC. 

The trampled wife, the starvmg man, the child 
Savage or crippled ; failure, death, di^ace. 
In one word, " evil " makes this world a hell, 
Worse if there be no Devil, for the thought 
Tli^t God can help but does not. 

Peace I no more 
Too loud thy voice, too high thy tone for man. 
Mere potter's clay, complaining of the Hand 
That shapes it. Dolls to dolls ; this quaint device. 
This masque of chessmen, show within a show 
Befits me better than " Proijietheus bound," 
I like the comedy so strangely cast, 
Old portraits stepping from their tarnished frames. 
To ancient music setting modem words, 
Duplicius quoting Cobbett. What it means 
I care not ; let it pass for what it is. 
I like the vagueness of the atmosphere ; 
Christmas without, and All Fools* Day within ; 
And since at Rome the proper thing to do 
Is as the Romans, so I lend myself 
To this conceit. Methought yon fidr-haired Knight 
Played somewhat fiercely vdth the heavy hilts 
Of sword and dagger while the Churchman sneered. 
Speak out, Sir Baron, if it please thy will ; 
And tell me of some stirring feat of arms, 
What time that cross of thine could scarce be known 
Amidst the deeper red that dyed the ground. 



ERIC, 23 

Or stay — 

From what the worthy Bishop said, 
I gather that you Chessmen disbelieve 
In men as aught but pupils in your school ; 
And when 1 think how patiently we pore 
Over each move, that by a single act, — 
One touch, no more, — ^is settled once for ali, 
I grant you reason well : at all events 
You reason well for Chessmen. So my place 
I humbly take as scholar. That which stirred 
Our friend the Bishop was the poet's art 
Transmuting common dross of worldly rank. 
Of worldly motives, strivings for success. 
To precious gold of love and sympathy *, 
And as I said : this change once made, our life 
" Is not the game we see upon the board.'* 
Can'st show, Sir Knight, how love's transforming touch 
Has turned the ill to good ? If such a case 
Thou knowest, speak, and Heaven give us grace. 



24 WHITE QUEENS KNIGHT, 



WHITE QUEEN^S KNIGHT. 

Sir Hildebrand, the good Knight» 
To the Holy Land has gone. 

With a following of the Order 
Of S. Peter and S. John. 

But a year and a day has been connted 

Since they crossed the salt sea strand. 
And yet none has brovght back tidings 
/ Of the good Sir Hildebrand. 

The Knights haT& kept their vigil 
Till the dawn of Easter Day, 

As of old the two Apostles 

Stayed apart to watch and pray« 

« Now the Order meets in Chapter 
At the summons of the bell ; 
But who gave yon Palmer entrance 
With his staff and cockle-shell ? 



WHITE QUBEirS KNIGHT. n 

" 111 news, ill news I Sir Prior, 

That I bring from Holy Land : 
Stiff and stark lie the good Knights, 

All, save Sir Hildebrand ; 

" Him a Soldan holds in durance. 

And by spells of false Mahoun, 
Tortures fell, and pcmgs of hunger 

Is his spirit broken down. 

'* He has stooped to beg for mercy. 

And has spit upon the Cross, 
And this Easter-mom the Soldan 

Will bestride him like a horse, 

*' Ride him thrice around the ramparts 

While the Faynim scoff and jeer 
At the renegade and coward 

Whom ye hc^d in honour here." 

White with horror stands the Prior, 
Flush the Knights with crimson shame, , 

Rising from their seats, they clamour 
Vengeance on the traitor's name : 

*' Cast the coward from amongst us. 

Tear the banner from his stall. 
Blot his name from out our records. 

Rive his scutcheon from the wall/' 



a6 WHITE Q U£EN*S KNIGHT. 

But the Palmer's tones sonorous 
Rise above the angry roar : 

" Let the Church pronounce his sentence, 
Doommg him for evermore." 

Deep acclaims and deeper silence 
Show the Palmer counsels well : 

To the Altar moves the Prior ; 
Calls for candle, book, and belL 

But before the doom is spoken, 
Steppeth forth a stalwart Knight, 

Known to all, of courage proven. 
Bearing scars of many a fight. 

Cries : " A boon I crave, Sir Prior ; 

Rough and ready is my way ; 
With my sword, on foot or horseback 

Make I good the words I say. 

** Once, alone in press of foemen. 
With my life-blood flowing red. 

Saw I him you call * a coward/ 
Force hb way through quick and dead ; 

** And like hammer strokes on anvil 
Rang his blows on helm and shield 

Till he reached me, and together 
Fought we out that bloody field. 



WHITE QUEBirS KNIGHT, 97 

'* And though all the Palmer sayeth 

Be as true as word Divine, 
No man scathless calls him ' coward,' 

Who has risked his life for mine. 

** He who places foul dishonour 

On the good Sir Hildebrand, 
Let him prove it on my body. 

Foot to foot, and hand to hand. 

" And not only for my comrade 

Will I venture life and limb ; 
But S. Peter be my witness 

That I fight this fight for him. 

** He who calls the good Knight ' faithless,* 

To S. Peter says the word ; 
For 'tis writ in Holy Gospel 

That he thrice denied his Lord. 

" He who calls the good Knight ' coward,' 

Let the judge S. Peter be. 
He whose trusted courage failed him 

On the Galilean Sea. 

" Let the Palmer name his witness 

To do battle for his word ; 
Here I stand who say : 'he lieth,' 

And maintain it by my sword." 



ag WHITE QUEEN*S KNIGHT 

On his knees down sinks the Prior, 
Falls each Knight on bended knee ; 

Waiting for a sign from Heaven 
On such awful blasphemy. 

But no token breaks the silence ; 

And when downcast eyes are raised, 
Lo ! the Palmer's place is empty, 

So that all start up amazed. 

All, except the one who kneeleth 
Pale and still as carved in stone : 

One by one each Knight departeth. 
And the Prior is left alone. 

BLACK queen's BISHOP. 

The moral of this risky tale is twofold. 
First — Holy Scripture was compiled in Latin 
For many reasons ; principally, that in 

Cases disparaging the shepherds who fold 

The flock, the flock should rest content with bliss 
Of ignorance ; and, second — Church was meant for 
Worship, not talking : Anselm would have sent for 

That Prior and taught him discipline, I wis. 

i 

BLACK queen's KNIGHT. 

A sorry ending ; would that I had heard 

That challenge I Sword to sword, and hand to hand, 



BLACK QUBEirs KNIGHT. 29 

/would have faced the churl who made a mock 
At Church and Chivalry. If this your creed, 
Sir White-cheek, that a coward may escape, 
Because forsooth S. Peter once showed fear, 
Who never was a soldier, or at most 
But half a Knight— the best half 

BLACK king's BISHOP. 

Nay, my son, 
These things are mysteries : 'tis not for swords. 
However keen, to cut the Gordian knot 
Which we would fain unravel. 



BLACK queen's KNIGHT. 

Still, I hold- 

BLACK king's BISHOP. 

Patience awhile, my son, our brother there. 



A wise ecclesiastic, (though our foe, 

And slightly touched 'tis whispered with the taint 

Of Arius, but this I scarce believe), 

Raises his hand, as though intent on speech. 



ERIC. 



A pretty quarrel between Church and State ! 
I think that chessmen are as wise as men, 
Or men as chessmen; either cap will Bt. 



30 WHITE KINGS BISHOP, 



WHITE king's bishop. 

The mom has changed to noon ; the light 
Has sloped and falien in the west ; 

And still the Prior kneels alone. 
With folded hands upon his breast. 

The night draws on ; the voice of praise 
Rises and falls, but chant and hymn 

Pass all unheeded ; shadows dark 
Seem darker for the tapers dim ; 

So, in the Prior*s troubled heart 

The spark of faith shows doubts more dread ; 
Too great the strain 1 he strives to speak, 

But senseless falls, as fall the dead. 



" O, whither is wending yon bare-foot Friar, 
Not old, I ween, though his hair so white, 

And feeble his steps, though no word he speaks. 
Nor raises his eyes to the left or right? " 



WHITE KING'S BISHOP, 31 

" O, he is a leech of exceeding skill ; 

Where he tarries, no fever can make its home ; 
And the Holy Father has heard of his fame, 

And therefore his footsteps are turned towards Rome/* 

" Then why does he linger ? No doctor he, 
But a scholar, for learning far renowned ; 

And the Sacred College has sought for his aid 
Against a doubt that is gaining ground." 

" Not so ; such need would not brook delay ; 

But a Prior sore troubled with doubts within, 
Is this pilgrim who journeys on foot to Rome, 

That the Holy Father may shrive his sin.'* 



i< 



Sir Porter, there standeth a Friar without. 
Without he stands, nor will enter in 
Till he hath had speech of the Pope himself. 
That the Holy Father may shrive his sin." 

** If he needs must speak to the Pope himself 
Let him tarry without at the Golden Gate, 

Where the Holy Father will rest him awhile 
For a breathing-space from the toils of State." 

An old, old man is the Pope of Rome ; 

On a litter they bear him with gentle pace ; 
When they say that a Friar beseeches shrift. 

Not a wrinkle moves on his waxen face. 



32 WHITE KINGS BISHOP, 

*' And can this be the Pontiff that carries the keys, 
Who governs the world by his slightest word ? 

Oh I a fool I have been for my journey so long, 
To tell a tale that will never be heard." 

Then a film shoots over the dull grey eye, 

Like the flickering tongue of the hooded snake ; 

And a thin, weak voice like a linnet's that pipes. 
Says, " Fools would be fewer if silence spake." 

Low louted the Prior, all quaking for fear 
Of the man who could fathom his secret thought ; 

And his tale he told : how a masterful Knight 
Had shame on the blessed S. Peter brought. 

No change comes over that waxen face 
Whose wrinkles deep fold the dull grey eye, 

Till the tale is told, and the Prior falls down 
On his face, and waiteth. A gentle sigh, 

Scarce louder than an infant's, passed 
From earth to heaven, the thin lips curled : 

The smile serene, the piercing eye 
Bespoke the man who rules the world. 

•* Not for my sake, my brother, but for yours 
Bring forth a flagon of the red, red wine, 

That this weak flesh may gather strength to speak 
The precious promise of the truth Divine." 



WHITE KING'S BISHOP. 33 



fb. 



They bring him a flask of the red, red wine ; 

The piping treble grows firm and deep, 
Like a sea whose tempest so loud and strong 

May rise from a ripple that lulls to sleep, 

" Oh I hard are the paths that the saints have trod ; 

Not for us to judge where they slipped or fell ; 
* What every man is in the sight of God, 

He is that,* though claimed by the Powers of Hell. 

'* In courage and mercy two names are chief 

On earth below, as in heaven above, 
S. Peter who holdeth the keys in fief, 

And with him S. John who does suit for love. 

** Nay 1 sever them not, lest your hearts ye jdeld 
Through trial unventured or hopeless sin ; 

For courage and love are like sword and shield. 
Nor Satan himself through them both may win. 

** There is many a record of hard- won fight 
That leads men on to persist and dare ; 

Is there never ensample of fall from right 
That would save a sinner from dark despair ? 

'* Ah, God ! I, too, who have run the race, 
Who have kept the faith when the light grew dark ; 

Should I e'er have outnumbered the day's disgrace 
When I failed to haven S. Peter's bark. 



34 WHITE KINGS BISHOP, 

** Bnt for knowledge of this — ^that to him who dared, 
Who dared and failed when the waves waxed wild, 

A Hand was outstretched, and a path prepared 
O'er the deep, by a Father who helps His child? 

" Have I never through weakness denied my Lord, 
Yet lived to confess Him, for one sad look 

On the sinner so false to his plighted word — 
No, fAe Saint who followed when all forsook ? 

'* O children, the strong do not ask our aid, 

Tis the weak who entreat us ; my brethren, hear 
And teach ; that the grace which S. Peter stayed. 

Turns shame into honour when Christ is near." 

***** 

'' With an old man's blessing, homewards 

Go in peace, but know my son ; 
He is bravest with S. Peter 

Who is loving with S. John." 

ERIC. 

Gramercy, gentle Bishop and fair Knight ; 

And yet, methinks, too much old legends lack 
The flavour of this present work-day world. 
Would that my doubts were phantoms of the past ; 
But no ; they live and fold themselves and sting 
Like homely vipers, not like eastern asps. 
Those Queen-destroying themes for plajrwrights' skill. 
Why even playwrights have outlived their day ; 
Men go to see the act, and not the play. 



PAST AND PRESENT. 35 



CAROLLERS (without). 

Eighteen centuries have sped 
Since on earth our Saviour came : 

Miracles and signs are dead ; 
But our hearts remain the same. 

Gone are mighty Kings and Lords, 
Vanished world-wide Empires* fame ; 

Changed are customs, arts, and words ; 
Yet our hearts remain the same. 

Idle arms are bows and spears. 
Tilt or toumay but a name ; 

Present griefs find present tears, 
For our hearts remain the same. 



ONLY A DREAM, 



CHORUS OF CHESSMEN. 

Only a dream, a show, a fond delusion 
Is life, with all its pleasures and its pains ; 

We Chessmen strive, and at our strife's conclusion 
Find nothing worth the winning ; naught remains. 

Only a dream. 

Only a dream ; till midnight bells are chiming. 
Their brief existence we with mortals share ; 

What are ideas but heights past human climbing ? 
Men £ul, and call them " castles in the air,'* 

Only a dream. 

Only a dream, yet each one in his keeping 
Holds all that gives realities their name ; 

Hasten ; lest he who watches lose his sleeping 
Amongst us, and we vanish as we came. 

Only a dream. 



ERIC, yi 



ERIC. 



Nay I but this passes magic : helm and shield, 

Armonr, and gay caparisons of war 

Fade, and give place to less attractive hues, 

More deadly weapons ; yet methinks the men 

Seem braver for their loss of bravery. 

Was ever knight more gallant than yon chief, 

Whose rank betrays itself by no device 

Save that which wins for him the proud salute 

Of victors to the vanquished, after years 

Of vain attempts to plant an iron heel 

On iron wills, and hearts more true than steel ? 



3« BLACK KINGS CASTLE. 



BLACK king's CASTLE. 

Praise to the Knight of S. John who shielded his comrade's 

dishonour. 
Praise to the Bishop who taoght that courage is greatest in 

mercy. 
This is the making of heroes, rugged, delighting in battle ; 
Yet, when the battle is ended, kindly and gentle as children. 
Great is the glory of war, of darkness and lightning b^otten, 
Lowering lurid and fateful, breaking in thunder of cannon, 
Pitiless hailstorm of bullets, furious whirlwind of horsemen. 
So bursts the war-cloud without; but fiercer the conflict 

within us, 
Deep giving answer to deep, re-echoes out-clanging the 

trumpet. 
Pulses out-throbbing the drum in tumult of passionate 

tempest. 
Greater the glory of peace ; ah ! well I remember that 

morning : 
Morning I — it seemed like a life, as closer and closer en- 
twining, 



BLACK KINGS CASTLE, 39 

Fold upon fold of the net enclosing our armies beleaguered, 
Tightened till way of escape was barred to the pitiful handful 
Left of our gallant array, once joyously proud and trium- 
phant. 
Then, when prolonging the strife was only a meaningless 

slaughter, 
Knowing the end was at hand, I spake my last word by a 

herald, 
Sueing for peace if it might be. Swift as a horseman could 

gallop 
Answer came back, not in scorn, but greeting of brother to 

brother. 
Honour to courage and strength, but greater the honour to 

mercy ; 
Courage and strength could compel, but love led us willingly 

captive ; 
Then we surrendered our hearts. And yet, I had cried in 

my anguish : 
*' Better a thousandfold death I " but clear rang the challenge 

of duty: 
" Stand, for thy country demands thee. Care for the wives 

and the children. 
Helpless for shedding of blood in fighting where fighting is 

hopeless ; 
Care for thy soldiers astray, wide-scattered as having no 

shepherd ; [ments ; 

Care for the least to the last, sad gathering up of the frag- 



40 BLACK KINCrS CASTLE, 

This be thy calling, the sign that honour which waits on th^ 

captor 
Leaves not the captive bereft, but blesses both victor and' 

vanquished." 
Honour ! she beckons me now, for fain would I comfort my 

comrades 
Living or dying unknown, no glory to lighten their dark- 
ness, 
Found on the side of the wrong, injustice for justice mis- 
taking. 
Was it so evil, O friends? Behold, we were few against 

many. 
Bent upon freedom, yet heart-sore, loathing the cost of the 

contest. 
Sickness and maiming of heroes, weeping of widow and 

orphan. 
Wasting of homestead and city, hatred in households 

divided. 
Dragons* teeth bearing blood-fruit for devils to tread in the 

winepress ; 
Though for these things we kept silent, think ye our hearts 

were not burning ? 
Yea, and though bitter our lot^ who saw from the very 

beginning 
Nothing but mischief in store, the course of our state-craft 

misguided, [sion ; 

Leading of blind by the blind, our strife for an evil conclu- 



* 
BLACK KINGS CASTLE. 41 



Yet we remembered the past, the rift in our ancient 
Dominion, 

** Freedom to govern ourselves," the watchword that was as 
our birthright. 

'* Right!" what is right but success? Our forefathers 
ventured rebellion; 

Victory gave them their right, redressing the balance of 
justice ; 

Fortune of war was the priest that christened revolt " Inde- 
pendence." 

" Duty 1 " its claims were divided ; " Coimtry ! " but which 
was our country ? 

That of the larger idea, the ** one out of many united," 

''One," an abstraction sublime, but still at its best an ab- 
straction ? 

Rather the '' one " that we knew, the woods we had roamed 
in our boyhood. 

Orchards and pastures and waters, faces of neighbours and 
kinsfolk. 

All that made sympathy sweet, our home with its loving 
traditions. 

Little of worth were thy sons who failed thee in peril faint- 
hearted. 

Leaving thee. Mother and Queen, a prey to the many-voiced 
monster ; 

Ye who condemn us as rebels, find ye no good in our 
evU? 



4a SLACK KINQS CASTLE, 

Surely the Hand that restrained from plucking the tares in 
the wheatfield, 

Planted the wheat in the tares we sowed in our sorrowful 
spring-time. 

See, in the battle of life, how evil and good intermingle : 

Many a triumph of right achieved, yet the motive unworthy ; 

Many a cause of injustice won by consent of the righteous ; 

Ever a harvest whose wheat is courage and skill and endur- 
ance. 

Error and weakness the tares men gather in heaps for the 
burning; 

Never a harvest where truth is chosen and error rejected. 

No, for He sendeth His rain alike on the just and the 
unjust ; 

No, for He maketh His sun to rise ofi the good and the evil. 

See, and be thankful. The reapers pass on through the 
cornfields rejoicing, 

Here and there plucking the ears but leaving the harvest still 
standing ; 

Yielding of many offences, merits scarce worthy the gleaning. 

Why are the reapers so gladsome? Well for us, comrades, 
that upwards. 

There where the angels are busy, far in the billowy corn- 
fields 

Bending with hundred-fold burden, ripens a bountiful in- 
crease, [abundance 

First-fruits of mercy and love, the wheat in its countless 



BLACK KINCS CASTLS, 43 

Needing no tribute of earth saye only a handfdl as earnest $ 
Earnest, in spite of the tares ungathered, unreckoned, 

forgiven. 
This is our store though we tended evil for good in our 

blindness. 
Courage, my comrades, our hope stands firm on the Infinite 

Mercy: 
Ever the tares and the wheat must ripen together till 

autumn; 
Never the harvest of earth is that which is garnered in 

heaven. 



44 CHORUS OF BLACK PAWNS, 



CHORUS OF BLACK FAWNS. 

Crael the east wind speeding piercing arrows. 
Dreary the sunlight chilled with gloomy haze ; 
Far is the prophecy of brighter days, 

Shrivelled the heart ; our future fades and narrows : 
There is no God, 

Well — ^for our leaders ; though they meet reverses 
They hold their glory, keep their friends, their past, 
Always some help, some shelter from the blast ; 

We fall, we die — nor prayers avail nor curses : 
There is no God. 

Good — ^for the rich who paradise invented ; 

Here all the prizes fall to rank and state. 

Toil for the poor, submission to their fate ; 
This is their gospel, keeping us contented ; 
There is no God. 



CHOR US OF BLACK PA WNS, 45 

The great are only gracioas when they need us ; 

Class instincts point us as their future foes. 

Not race with race, but rich with poor must close ; 
They lose their touch, if once they cease to lead us 
There is no God. 

For this they train their priests to special pleading, 
Fabling a new world to redress the old, 
Holding out promises of rainbow gold. 

False hopes for ever from our grasp receding : 
There is no God. 

No God I when once the hungry peoples waken, 
The classes finding life no make-belief. 
But as we know it, want and pain and grief, 

Shall cry the loudest from high places shaken : 
"There is no God!" 



I 



46 CAPUA. 



CAROLLBRS {pithotU), 

Soft breathed the south wind ; earth with life was teeming ; 
Bright sunshine overhead, fafrest outward seeming ; 
Joy flowed so strong and deep, faith and hope were lulled to 
sleep, 

Seeking no morrow. 

Chill blew the night-wind deeper darkness bringing. 
Dead lay the frozen world : — hark I the angels singing 
Glad hymns to welcome mom : " Unto you the Christ is 
bom," 

First-fruit of sorrow. 

Still, while earth's pleasures fill our souls with gladness, 
God ! we forget Thee. Comes a time of sadness ; 
Then faith and hope and love, from Thy treasure-house 
above, 

Freely we borrow. 



WHITE KING'S KNIGHT. 47 



WHITE king's knight. 

I was coming home from a journey, 
A weary journey from town : 

Twas dark ere we came to the junction, 
And whistled the signals down. 

The scattered lamps in the suburbs 
Straightened in lines of light, 

And the hum of a busy city 
Was borne on the wings of night. 

There was ** something on before ui " 
Till our strength of speed was past, 

And the engine panted and laboured, 
Ere we reached our goal at last 

The train drew up to the platform ; 

But while we yet steamed along, 
I saw a familiar figure 

Glide forth from the motley throngs 



.«^«i:^i!!!^ 






WHITE KlNCrS KNIGHT. 49 

The light that on earth was scattered 

Will gather more bright and clear, 
And a sound as of many waters 

Will murmur that heaven is near. 

A few short gasps and endeavours, 

A fruitless labour of breath, 
Ere I make an end of my travel, 

And stand on the platform of death. 

■♦ 

Yet shall I not tarry unwelcomed ; 

For long ere that last dread pain 
My boy will have hurried to greet me, 

And I shall have known him again. 

If only — ah I what is my token. 

What sign for my Father above. 
But this — that I hastened to meet Him 

When He came to my heart in love ? 



so CHOR US OF WHITE PA WNS, 



/ 



CHORUS OF WHITE PAWNS. 

O be joyful in God, all ye lands ; 

We have seen, we have seen with our eyes 
Of the kingdoms to come upon earth, 

And the hopes of the children unborn ; 
Of the times of provision from dearth, 

And the granaries brimming with com 
For the many who work with their hands ; 

That are hid from the great and the wise. 

We have quaffed at the fountain of youth 

As it sprinkled our foreheads and lips, 
(And your plumage, O birds, for ye sing ! ) 

Where it sparkles, unsoiled by the cares 
That come thick when subjected it bears 

On its bosom the wealth of the ships ; 
Where men question the clearness of truth. 

Heavy-hearted, forgetting life's spring. 



CHORUS OF WHITE PAWNS, 51 

We have heard, we have heard with our ears, 

And our Others have told of a past 
When the world took its creed from a prayer 

Seeking bread for the day and no more ; 
When the rich forsook ease with their peers. 

And the plenty of gamer and store, 
That the few with the many might share. 

And the foremost take place with the last. 

It was well that your fiedth died away, 

O ye rich, till it withered like grass. 
We have read, we have read, and we know 

How the leisure that riches ensure. 
How the training and culture of class 

Had their use, the foundations to lay 
Of a wisdom, whose laws shall endure 

When your children their birthright forego. 

'Tis not chance that rolls onward the world ; 

Nor the classes, nor we are its guides. 
Yet we see that we grow to our rights 

Inch by inch with the growth of the State, 
And we trust in the God who provides. 

Though the thunderclouds threaten the heights, 
Not by us shall the lightnings be hurled ; 

We are strong, we are strong, we can wait. 



BLACK XtSGS KNIGHT. 



BLACK king's KNIGHT. 

And 80 Reynard bereft of his brush 

Vowed that foxes were better without ; 
And his brother who hankered for fruit 

Took his oath that the bunches were sour. 
Do you think that we value one rush 

What ycu say ? We were fools did we doubt 
You would take if you could — we dispute 

Not your will, my good friends, but your power. 



THE STAR OP BETHLEBEM, 53 



CAROLLBRS (wUhout)^ 

It is a winter night with starry sky, 

And see I a troop of horsemen riding by. 

** What seek ye, friends ? " ** Oh, we have seen a sign 

In heaven, tokening a birth Divine ; 

And we bring gifts to offer at His shrine." 

" God speed ye gentle sirs j but who are ye, 
Tall, stalwart swains : what came ye forth to see ? " 
'* Shepherds an*t please yon ; even now a throng 
Of angels sang the birth foretold so long ; 
We go to see the wonder of that song." 

** Ye simple shepherds, wherefore leave your fold, 
The rich have gone before with gifts and gold : 
What can ye offer ? " ** Gifts of priceless worth ; 
The angels brought them down from heaven to earth ; 
Peace and goodwill ; we give them for His birth.** 




WHITE KINGS PA IFW 



FdomIs, I have a tale to tell yon : now the world b gay aod 

glad, 
I have praapeied, but Temembei always how I once was 

Poor and hnngiy, left deserted, pcenticed to a baleful eot, 
Ciuel, grasping, lazy, bnital : wliat was bad that he was 

not? 
L.cather cattiog vas hU bimnes, there were bat himself 

Iriial which killed the wife and daughters, drove the sons 

^'ell I one daj, my master sent me right away to Poiton- 

viUe: 
"l [nust wait and bring the money ; two and sixpence was the 

bilL 
(}0 I waited and returning homewards, faint fioai want of 

food, 

I was pasmng through an alley doee (o where old Smhhfield 

Stood. 



WHITE KINGS PA WN. 55 

I have tried in vain to trace it ; now the place is all pulled 

doMm; 
Then it formed a home for labour, in the thick of London 

town; 
Joumejnnen and cunning crafbmen, skilled in working steel 

and gold ; 
But the glory of that alley was a shop in which were sold 
Little fishes, bright or painted, set around with tiny hooks. 
Feathers neatly sorted forming many - coloured picture 

books, 
Rods and lines and floats and winches, glimpse of heaven 

for the boys. 
Paradise of unknown summer, city dreams of country joys. 
Wretched as I was, the tempting of those treasures made me 

stop, 
Press my face against the window, count the wonders of that 

shop : 
All at once the door flew open, and in making room to 

pass, 
Crash ! I ran against a workigan carrying a globe of 

glass. 
I was collared in an instant, hands of iron held me down ; 
As I struggled, on the pavement rang my greatly-prized 

half-crown. 
Quick as thought my captor clutched it: '*Just what he 

would have to pay [way. 

For the breakage," and, with curses, ofi" he hurried on his 



56 WHITE KINGS PA WN, 



I was helpless ; though the women said it was a buniing 

shame, 
Words were nothing, might was strongest, no one knew the 

strainer's name. 
Never could I face my master : forty years have come and 

gone. 
Yet I sometimes wake afi&ighted for that outcast boy* 

alone. 
There I stood ; the crowd had scattered, each one to his 

daily care. 
Only I, dry-eyed and silent, brooded on in blank despair. 
What I did I know not : pictures burned themsdves into my 

brain. 
Unknown forms and places, never was reality so plain. 
I can see them now distinctly, then I neither saw nor heard. 
For my heart so wildly throbbing, beating like a prisoned 

bird, 
Seeking light and freedom, sinking broken from the cr]rstal 

wall ; 
So my spirit sank and led me waiting for the sky to fall. 
Was it hours or only minutes till I started with a cry 
As the latal door re-opened, and a laughing boy ran by ? 
Just my age he seemed, but taller, curly-locked, and slightly 

made. 
And a fishing-rod just purchased, he triumphantly displayed. 
Still I spoke not, but imploring raised my eyes to hi>--«nd 

then: 



WHITE KINGS PA WN. 5ji 

(What is it that gives the signal: "Man must help his 

fellow-inen?") 
Schoolboy speech of kindly comfort : " Why, old fdlow, 

what's the row?" 
And the torrent burst the flood-gates, nothing could restrain 

it now. 
He had drawn me up a passage, safe enough from sight and 

reach. 
There I told him all my story. Suddenly he checked my 

speech : 
** Just you wait,'* and off he started : patiently I held my 

post. 
Though so long his footsteps lingered that my hope was 

almost lost. 
Yet some fidth I kept— that trial taught me first to trust in 

God— 
And he came, but empty-handed ; gone his treasured fishing* 

rod ! 
He had given up his pleasure, selling back untasted joy : 
In my hand he placed the money : " Keep your pecker up 

old boy." 
Ere I understood, (remember^ friend I never knew before), 
He was gone beyond recalling, and I saw that face no more 
Save in fancy ; there I watch him weaving out his web q# 

fate: 
WeU I read his fortune ; haply he may make his country 

great; 



S8 WHITE KINGS PA WN. 

Possibly himself; more likely, he will sow and others reap, 

Forfeiting his own preferment, giving what he ought to 
keep. 

Nay, perchance the world may deem him fool. Quixotic in 
his aim. 

One of those whose friends say coldly : " Yes, he has him- 
self to blame." 

Let it be so ; let his follies, sins it may be, have their say, 

Yet one friend shall stand his witness, pleading on the judg- 
ment day 

For the man whose boyhood rescued one poor wretch in 
hopeless need. 

Making life seem something better than a cry of selfish 
greed. 

More than men can count by figures, treasure neither scdd 
nor bought. 

Profit that is worth the having though our projects turn to 
naught. 

When I heard my comrade telling how a scarcely-noticed 
Mgn, 

By the key of Death deciphered, opened him a door Divine ; 

All my soul ran forth to meet him for the bitter-jsweet of 
pain. 

For the Presence never heeded till we seek our love in vain* 

Truths there are, the deepest, strongest, never seen by those 
whose lo(^ . [books. 

Take account by pros and contras as a trader keeps his 



WHITE KING^S PA WIT. 50 

Giving every act its motive, nay, not one but many springs t 
Just as when the twelvemonth closes, patiently the merchant 

brings 
Into focus all the countless issues which the bygone year. 
Pay by day has raised and settled till he finds his balance 

clear, 
Loss or profit. Very easy, looking back, to trace its cause. 
Classifying into sections, formulating into laws. 
Even accidents or chances, turning points that make the 

mind 
Take or leave the rails of custom ; these are measured or 

defined. 
"Yours was such a chance ; the impulse, timely truly for 

your need, 
Weakness, fruit of weakness ; spendthrift ancestry had sown 

that seed, 
Easy-going, lazy feeling, hating pain in any form, 
Selfishness of sweet sensation liking sunshine more than 

storm ; 
Nothing better." Take your answer : " More than for thy 

gifts of worth 
God ! I thank Thee that Thou gavest worthlessness like 

this to earth." 
Is it nothing, O my brothers, that a man should like to give ; 
Can we call that food unwholesome which enables us to live ? 
Is it not a sign that something underlies each act of love. 
Deeper than the mind's intention, higher motive from above ? 



to WH/TB KlNffS PAWIf. 

Ndtlm sane nof leMon pnmipti it, other caiue U nooe 

than thi^— 
Thtt we vnil it, not bom purpose, but because we take of 

Hit. 
£*eh one tuu hit pride in pTing : often when I heard my 

Cmsng todal rank and atatioo, piaiung democnaic statet ; 
To myself I smiled and whUpered : " All ihou hadst tliou 

gavedst me ; 
I have neithei gold nor silver, tmt I give mjr heart for thee, 
Tbee and thine." I know m; fellowi ; none to proud as 

working-men : 
Toocb their pride of dats for jutice, little fear of danger 

then. 
I conld ta7 a word in teaton. Often did I speak and well j 
(So at least theysaid); they listened willingly, as I would tell 
How the safest path to progiesi la; in holdii^ equal hand* 
Both for rich and poor, in pressing onward moderate de> 

"Are the wealthy blind to jutice? prove ye jnttet than the 

Lest both they and you together ^wallow helpless in the 

ditch 1 " 
Like draws lik^ when thoee above nt found our aim was just 

Not revolt, half-way they net tu ; ao we ttajml the coming 



WHITE KINGS CASTLE. «t 

Ye who tface results to causes, fit this truce of class with 

class 
As you will— to boyish kindness and a broken piece of glass. 

WHITE king's castle. 

Give me your hand, my brother. Forty years 
Have changed the &ce you saw through bo3rish tears. 
Time changes not the heart : like gospel truth 
You read my life. A hasty careless youth. 
Unselfish for his very heedlessness ; 
A gentle man ; no more, thank God, no less. 
Nor yet quite useless since as steel with flint 
Our natures meeting struck the first faint glint 
That kindled till it raised the sacred flame 
Of sjrmpathy — ^for this I praise His name. 

My sympathies were ever with the ranks, 
The great unknown. The few win all the thanks 
Of king or country. While he lives, the prize 
Is destined for the captain ; when he dies, 
The poet sings his glory. To the mass 
Fortune gives niggardly, and records pass 
Like loaves, in batches. Yet I never sought 
In vain for volunteers $ they knew I thought 
Of them as persons, giving each his due, 
Not classing them, and thus their love I drew. 



WHITE KINGS CASTLE. 



But evei as I gained inc 

And high position, darkei clouds would lowct 

Obscuring heaven till the world seemed nigh 

To unrealitf. II was not I, 
But Fortune helping me tliat won saccets. 
What were my gifts? A trick of saying ; "Yes" 

Delight in givii^ joy in pleasant smiles ; 

Was I a hypocrite, with subtle wiles 
Fishii^ for men, and tbiowii^ «bining darts 
To tempt their fancies, luring foolish hearts ? 

Nor I alone, bat those who pictured schemes 
Past sense and reason, did they cheat with dieams 7 
Was sympathy itself an empty sound. 
Sheer supetstnicture lacking solid gtoand. 
No surer argument for love or hale 
Than scarlet lo a bull ; were "home" and "state" 
Catchwords for ignorance, whereby the few 
Might fool the many ; was religion true. 
Or immortality a mask for death. 
The last delusitm for our parting breath ; 

Was there no God ? My heart gave echo b«ck : 
" No God." I looked upon the beaten track 

Where (are the many, and I saw the face 

Of one I knew : unmerited di^ace 
Had crushed him down to lead a sordid life 



WHITE KIKGS CASTLE, 63 

Debasing by its littleness ; his wife 
And children a^ed before their time by care. 
Were there a God would He disdain their prayer, 

Leaving them helpless as the hunter's spoil, 

Their life one long dull drudgery of toil ? 

«. * • • * * 

Say, whence the change that o'er my fortunes passed ? 
My chariot wheels dragged heavily : at last 

They ceased to turn : my boasted gifts were gone ; 

My plans miscarried ; comrades one by one 
Proved hostile ; mystic writing on the wall 
In lurid characters foretold my fall. 

I fell, and falling found through fiery flame 

Of wrath and fear and pride and hate and shame 
A personality before unguessed : 
Possessed I was, and yet not self-possessed, 

A Devil prompted me beyond control. 
Warping my mind and poisoning my soul. 
Then I defied him : lo ! my frame he rent 

Leaving me helpless, hopeless ; all intent 

« 

Barren, and naught before me, save a fate 

Past human bearing. Crushed beneath its weight 
I sank, and then, (as dro¥ming men are said 
To catch at straws), to one poor tattered shred 

Of faith in Him who pierced and bleeding hung. 

In blind convulsive agony I clung. 



WHITE KINGS CASTLE, 



A moment's peace, while Satan held aloof. 
And then temptation* Twere a pertain proof 

Of God, (though miracles had ceased), to find 

A grackms Presence influencing mind. 
" Experto crede ** — ^Lct Him help me then. 
Granting me favour in the eyes of men 

As heretofore ; but should He fail my need, 

God were a dream, and &ith a broken reed : 
I wavered, sorely tried, — ^then sought him «ut 
Whose cruel fate had emphasized my doubt. 

Sorrow had crowned him with a sad wan grace. 
The majesty of grief ; his care-worn face 

Brightened and softened as I said my say. 

" Time was, my friend, when I was wont to pray 
For good that came not ; now I simply trust : 
We too are Gods though humbled in the dust. 

As Gods ourselves we knew the Heart Divine, 

Not sons but strangers they who seek a sign. 
He hears as we would hear ; as we would give, 
No less. He gives : shall Life itself not live ? 

Our heart is breaking ; lo ! we lay it bare 
Before the Lord ; its nakedness is prayer. 
Our blindness, weakness, anguish, self-confessed, — 
The things themselves, not words, — on Him we rest 
As though we knowing could ourselves fulfil 



WHITE KINCrS CASTLE, 65 

What we ttnknowing asked. Our own His will, 
And we? Ah^ God! Thy glory I D^e we choose, 
(I speak from knowledge), never would we lose 

Thy presence. If our cross can make Thee stay 

To share it with ns — take it not away ! 

* * * • • «> 

Himself was with you in that gift of love 
You lost when proving : natures from above 

Disdain our trammels. Yet the grace withdrawn 

Again he proffers, prompting you to scorn 
To tempt the Lord your God, as scorn you do, 
Else wherefore here ? You hold that friend as true 

Who turns not though your witness evil saith ; 

To trust against not for the proof is fsuth." 
— I left him, knowing that 'twas not in vain 
He suffered : his the sacrament of pain. 

ERIC. 

And did your fortune change like his of old. 

Who patient in affliction found the end 

More rich than the beginning ; larger herds, 

More wealth anc^ fairer sons ? — ^You may not tell ? 

'Tis better so : each mortal for himself 

Must dree his weird ; for were a proof vouchsafed 

Of present answer to our cry for help, 

Then prayer were selfishness ; or did we know 

5 



66 ERIC, 

For certain that our prayers remain unheard, 
Then fJEurewell hope. And yet one subtle point 
Arises on the argument. We grant 
That miracles are past ; the seed once sown 
Must bear its fruit : but ever larger grows 
The sodal field where mind directs the course 
Of femine, war and pestilence, of trade, 
Of fortunes, good or ill, of life itself ; 
Then granting influence of mind on mind, 
Of God and Devil prompting ; then our prayers 
May have their answer through our fellow-men. 
Themselves and we unwitting. 

What is this? 
Behind yon dark array a sombre cloud 
Whence threatening shadows brandish phantom spears. 
Goading their victims till they seek their doom, 
Urging each other on, and yet not all, 
For see ! a gallant band has gathered round 
The King's Castellan, and a gleam of sun 
Lights on them through the storm-cloud. Ha ! a flash, 
A blast that makes the heavens shake and jar. 
Filling the air with wild tumultuous sound. 
Evoking spectres from unhallowed ground 1 



CHOR ITS OF SLACK PIECES. 67 



CHORUS OF BLACK PIECES. 

Spirits of illy who have power over mortals, 
Holding the keys of the sensuous portals, 
Forcing your entrance through vision and feeling, 
Working in secret, your presence concealing ; 
Urging desire through your subtle contrivance, 
Turning to sinfulness chance and connivance ; 
Lives there the man who resists your temptation ? 
Bring him to ruin, then prove his damnation ; 
Were he elect, God would show forth His might in him ; 
Let Him deliver him if He delight in him« 



a BLACK QUESirs castle: 



BLACK queen's CASTLE. 

'Twas over) with never a word 
Of comfort from kinsman or fidend ; 

It struck to my heart like a sword, 
To think that such shame was the end. 

Ah I woe for the sin that betrayed. 
That slept while my life was aglow. 

That woke when faint-hearted I prayed. 
And struck with one terrible blow. 

Was I better or wiser : who knows ? 

Moralities change with the years. 
I was older, preferring repose 

To feverish longings and fears. 

// came with a whisper, a glance. 
An ominous shake of the head ; 

Club scandal, the turning askance 
That tokens the socially dead. 



BLACK QUEEN'S CASTLE. 69 

Then talk became action ; the Court 

Was flooded with nameless di^race : 
There was never a devilish thought, 

But they printed its proof on my fece. 

// passed : though atonement I made, 

An outcast I stood in the land : 
For the lines that my likeness pourtrayed. 

Seared deep with their merciless brand. 

Then followed the malice of man. 

The enmity won by success ; 
When each throws a stone where he can, 

And each adds his weight to the press 

Till it breaks ; and so ruin befell 

My fortune as well as my fame : 
I was — ^no 1 it were useless to tell 

The lingering wreck of my shame. 

And yet in one thing I was blest : 

That she, who was Daithful and true. 
Had passed with a smile to her rest ; 

** To wait," as she whispered, " for you." 

Me ? a devil more certain of hell. 

For knowing and loving the right 
So wisely, and nearly so well 

As wrong, that my darkness seemed light 



BLACK QUEENS CASTLE. 



Duplicity — that was my curse ; 

Speaking evil and good in a breath. 
Praising better and doing the worse. 

Preaching life, when not practising death. 

Yet she loved me, and yonder she lies 
Just there through jron cleft in the tree. 

I forgot — 'tis my thoughts, not«my eyes 
That bring back the landscape to me. 

On her grave I would rest my last look, 

Ere leaving old England for aye ; 
And I wearily paced towards that nook ; 

Bent down by the infinite " nay." 

It was '* never " for her and for me ; 

No meeting again with my wife. 
Though mercy were deep as the sea. 

Though Christ had paid death with His life. 

No hope : surely nothing could add 

A pang to that pitiless thought. 
Yes ! I felt my arm touched by a lad : 

Please, yer honour, I've just been and bought 



K 



*' This here flower, for yer alius been kind, 
Both you and yer Missus, to Jack, 

And I hopes as you'll take it to mind 
Yott of us, as yer not coming back. ' 



BLACK QUEEirS CASTLE, n 



So he left me. I planted that flower, 
*Twas a hyacinth, over the grave ; 

I had said my good-bye ; in an hour 
I caught my first glimpse of the wave, 

And heard its unceasing refrain : 
" He was only a half-witted lad. 

He'd have cursed me if he had been sane ; 
He was grateful because he was mad." 

'Twas meet that my lost one above 
Should shriek amidst measureless joy, 

To see her one tribute of love 
Was misplaced — ^by an idiot boy. 



7a THE MIRACLE OF THE LOA VES, 



CAROLLBRS (wUh&uf) 

How shall we soothe the fears 
Of those whose fairest years 

Are spent in worldliness and toil and strife ; 
What can we say to prove 
That broken scraps of love 

May far outweigh a seeming selfish life ; 
But this — ^that Christmas-tide 
Counts more in heaven than all the worlds beside ? 

The earth is but a spedc 
Lost amidst rise and wreck 

Of countless systems in the heavenly plan. 
Though cycles wax and wancy 
Infinities remain ; 

A drop in ocean is life's rounded span ; 
Yet boundless Time and Space 

Take all their landmarks from one Day of Grace. 



THE MIRACLE OF THE LOAVES, 73 

The world is growing old 
Through centuries untold 

Of fire and flood and elemental change ; 
Through ceaseless birth and death. 
And breath succeeding breath. 

Each new departure taking wider range ; 
Yet all its truest worth 
Is borrowed from this one ignoble iHrth. 

This then the Angel-psahn, 
Despairing thoughts to calm : 

That He, — who gave the multitudes their bread 
From unintentioned store. 
Yet made the morsels more 

Than erst, although five thousand folk Had fed, — 
Will keep His sacred tryst, 
And bless the fragments that men £^ve for Christ. 



74 CHOR US OF BLACK PIECES, 



CHORUS OF BLACK PIECES. 

Beings who hate what is noble of nature, 
Dwarfing the gods if ye may to your stature ; 
Find ye a hero beyond all comparing, 
Matchless in planning, unrivalled in daring. 
Victory waiting wherever he leadeth, 
Honour undying the watchword he heedeth. 
Never a thought to entice him from duty ; 
Strike him unguarded and lure him with beauty. 
Send a Delilah with chains and b^;uilement. 
Dragging him down through the sloughs of defilement : 
Were there a God, He would guard what is right in him, 
Let Him deliver him if He delight in him. 



BLACK QUEEN, n 



BLACK QUEEN. 

They said I was fairest of women though base-bom and 
mean; 

And they thought to win favour by bribes, bringing gifts f 
a Queen ; 

But I knew in my innermost heart I was better than this, 

And I longed for the day when the world should be won 
with a kiss. 

For my life was athirst with the burning of gI(»rious fire. 

And my pulses beat fiercely and fast with a boundless 
desire ; 

Yet I waited the time and the man, though I counted the 
hours 

While the buds slowly swelled till they brake in a snow- 
storm of flowers. 

Oh, was ever a triumph like mine ! that an ignorant child, 

A nurse-maid, a pitiful drudge, by her beauty b^[uiled. 



jS gZACK QOBSN. 

Till the painter who longht an ideal drev life ftom 1117 

ftce. 
And the tnin of my ctep in the dance wa* a tnntport of 

BTwe, 
And the mni[tot attire on my form became exquisite art. 
And the burden of aong when I caioUed wait itiaight to the 

heart? 
So I UoMomed, and Fratnne and Fame laid their crowns at 

my feet ; 
Add I dallied with Fleatore and Power : ^ I Sfsingtime 

But the world wa* aitir with a tempest of gloiy and 

death. 
And away, where the South wind awakens white crests with 

its breath, 
And the Gaul and the Briton joined Jsattle on ocean and 

And the Pride of the sea challenged place &om the Pride of 

the land; 
Where the unit of the Corsican stretched to their outermost 

It was there that the blow most be stmck for the lordship of 

Earth. 
It was there, in the court of a King that I met Aim, my 

fiite: 
Was he all 10 unlike to the crowd that I thought him so 

great? 



BLACK QUEEH, 77 



I know cmly this ; he was foremost wherever he moved : 
He was bom to be victor, and I — was a woman — and 

loved. 
Then my spirit passed forth from my keeping, though sign 

I made none ; 
While my passion gained strength day by day from the glory 

that shone 
In the wake of his ship as she bore him through battle and 

storm, 
Till men marvelled, so great was the soul in so fragile a 

form: 
There was none to withstand him in council or match him 

in fight ; 
What he willed, that he dared ; what he dared, with his 

sword he made right 
In those days there were heroes; and proudest of all was his 

name: 
But none prouder than I, as my nature caught fire from his 

flame. 
And I gave myself up to his cause, holding treasure as 

naught. 
Nor sparing my labour till princes and peoples were 

wrought 
To his will; and his captains and sailors relied on my 

aid. 
For my might was the girdle of Love, and my words were 

obeyed. 



BLACK QUEEH. 



Then tt last came an htmr when the fleet ahipi were checked 
Of the Frenchman, whoae donblei and tnnu erei lei^^thened 

And baffled the honndi till though staunch tbey sought 

shelter and lot, 
Bnt nonedaist Kcdve them; andnowthej'had tnmed from 

their quest, 
So sore wai thdt sttait, bnt for me : though mail's conrage 

had biled 
To harbour my fnendi, yet a woman dared all and pre- 

For I plajred on ambition I7 hopes, and on weakness t^ 

And the heart of m; mistress and Queen I bedeged with my 

Till she yielded and lured from tile King what his Council 

forbade. 
Friendly help for onr fleet ; nor for long was that succour 

delayed, *- 

Nor laggard oor sails ere cur vessels in battle array 
Sought the foe in his harbour of vantage and brought liitu to 

bay. 
And I had my reward when the victor prodakned that to 

Most of elU was die praise for his (^(l to the Queen of the 



BLACK QUEEN, 79 



And he loved me, and won me, and ever fresh garlands of 

fame 
He wove for my brows till the world seemed too small for 

my name. 



There was bloodshed in oceans ; ¥^y torn to that one £eded 

stain? 
There were widows by thousands ; why shrink if one wife 

loved in vain ? 
He was mine, mine by right ; there are passions too strong 

for our creeds : 
What are one or two husks in a harvest of glorious deeds ? 
Not mean or ignoble the love that scorned pleasure or 

ease 
Where was honour to win, or a rival disputing the seas. 
We were lords of the world, but Love held us as slaves to 

his might : 
Ah 1 God, how we loved I and for this, though my day 

turned to night. 
My gloiy to shame, though I fell in a moment of time. 
And the reptiles that wallowed and battened in treacherous 

slime 
Set their teeth in my flesh ; though men mocked at my hero's 

bequest, 
Leaving me and my child to his country ; though shunned 

as a pest 



Ss BLACK QUEElf. 

By Urate who lud &wi»d at my feet ; tbongh the beut in 

Found mote ibelter tban I, a looe exile, an ontcaat from 

Left to die like • dog in a ditdi )— yet fat all that hu 

I am great — I have lived, I have loved, I luve raled u • 
Queen. 



THE THREE MARYS, 8i 



CAkOLLKltS {^ivUhoUt). 

The purest name that maiden beats, 
The name that Joy with Sorrow shares 

Is Maify— "bitter-sweet '* : 
For Mary gave our Saviour birth, 
And Mary for His way from earth 

Prepared His willing feet ; 

And through His dying pain, 
Another Mary sorrowed with these twain* 

Oh ! watchers of that blessM shame, 

Fain would we borrow with your name 
Your gifts for Wife and maid : 

Yet Mary, — ^not that love of thine 

So near akin to love Divine 

That flesh shrinks back afraid,-^ 

The path thy footsteps trod, 

Bespake thee gentlest mother-^but of God« 

6 



•» THE THREE MARYS. 

■ ' ^■^ — ■..»■■ I ■■ 11 I ■ I I ■ II ■ ■ ■— 1^ ■ ■ ■■■■ ■ ■ ■■ 

Nor yet thy gratitude we crave. 

Fond heart that touch alone could save, 

Outcasting devils seven ; 
We know not how to thank like thee 
From Satan's very self set free, , 

Upsoatched from hell to heaven ; 

Nor dare we hope for sight 
Of those whom we for sepulture have dight. 

Less daring, if we turn to thee 
Whose homely gift was sympathy^ 

A quiet, stedfast will ; 
The '* other Mary,'* else unknown. 
Making thy sister's grief thine own ; 

Such comfort soothes us still. 

And best befits the morn 
Whereon to share man's sorrow God was lx»rn. 



WHITE QUEEN. 93 



WHITE QUEEN. 

For comfort of Thy people am I sent, 
I, who myself find comfort most of all 
In helping, though the helping hand so small 

A woman's missicm and therewith content. 

As those whose hearts on ministry are bent ; 
Who feed Thy sheep, or failing strength recall 
To mind and body, breaking Fortune*s fall, . 

Or easing Life's too hard arbitrament. 
O sweet companionship where human aid 

Meets human need I your ¥dtness shews how near 
Is Love divine whose skill not only mends. 

But turns defects to uses. So 'tis said : 
That crystals cut to make dim eyesight clear. 

Gave the far vision that through space extends. 



mtiTM QUSEM. 



Sorrow and sickness ask especial carci 
Tender entreating, softer touch or speech. 
Than fits this nigged workaday world, where each 

Is only one of many trained to bear 

The brunt of life's unceasing waste and wear : 
Naught save endurance, and the larger reach 
Of contests hardly won, can fitly teach 

The hand to conquer and the heart to dare. 
Happy their lot who prosper — ^jret 'tis writ : 

'* Blessed are they that mourn." The starry space 
Is veiled by daylight, countless worlds may roll 

Unheeded, when Earth's little lamp is lit : 
So Fortune dims the universe of Grace. — 

O day well lost, whose losing saves the soul ! 



WHITE QUEEN, 89 



Our son is source of life and light to men ; 

Stars are no more than points to human eyes ; 

Pin-pricks on paper picture forth the skies 
To watchers of the night Yet only then 
We learn how small our part in *' where and when," 

How proof» opposed to narrow judgment, lies 

In tokens Night vouchsafes, but Day denies, 
And Earth unsted&st turns to wider ken. 

So, btisy men while all goes well are blind 
To larger signs that shew Life's little round 

Servant not lord amidst unnumbered spheres : 
Only when Fortune's sun has set, we find 

Nature herself to larger natures bound, 
And Earth diminishing as Heaven nears. 



— ■--.. .-^-'V 



86 CHOR US OP BLACK PA WNS. 



CHORUS OF BLACK PAWNS. 

Strive as we may for our freedom, with threefold scourges 

they wait, 
Seise us and drag us to torture. Fools to have courted our 

fate, 
Knowing and darii^ the worst for love of some fimcif ul r^t : 
Now they revenge our rebellioa, and none can protect from 
their might. 

Whatsoever a man soweth. 

That shall he reap : 
Whensoever a man knoweth, 
He learns to weep. 

Folly ! to tell us that troubles with increase of blessings are 

fraught ; 
Surely if Patience and Prudence be virtues, why bring them 

to naught ? 
Madness ! to chatter of purpose when lightnings strike one 

in a crowd : 
Purpose ! the curse we were bom to, and shaped to the shape 
of a shroud. 

Whatsoever a man soweth. 

That shall he reap : 
Whensoever a man knowethy 
He learns to weep. 



THE THREE CHILDREN, 



WHITE QUEEN, 

** I wUl not ; though my soul in swathes is wound 
By hands unseen which evil thoughts fulfil ; 
Else never would I sin against my will, 

As sin I do, (my true allegiance drowned. 

Steeped in Nepenthe), knowing well the sound 
Of hostile challenge, and the meed of ill 
For those who yield, yet unresisting still : 

Help ! in the flames they plunge my body bound I *' 



The King leapt up affrighted from his thrcme : 
** But three within yon raging gulf were cast, 

And lo I another 1 Come ye forth, O Three." 
Then forth they came, no sign of burning shewn 

On flesh or garb, for all that flery blast, 
Save perished bonds : the flames had set them free. 



88 THE WtLDBRNSSS. 



The bonds which hold the soul in slumber deep 
Are spun of custom's strong and subtle thread : 
We heed not Providence, well clothed and fed 
From goods in store ; no anxious watch we keep 
For sudden foe, but eat and drink and sleep. 
Munitioned by our skill of hand or head ; 
Our lips, but not our hearts, ask daily bread ; 
Shepherds ourselves, we follow not like sheep. 
Yet : " Out of Egypt have I called my son " 
Tis writ — Through long bewilderment of fears 
We cross the desert, where no human hand' 
Availeth aught, that we may lean on One 

Whose arm alone through all the vraste of years 
Can guide us safely to the Promised Land. 



SIMON THE CVRBNIAN. 



Misfoitiine ! so we call it, wben the load 
Is forced upon us till the crashing weight 
O'erwhelms us, and we gird at rathkss Fate : 

** That ever we should tread so rot^h a road : ** 

Yet had some noble purpose been our goad. 
Or conscious discipline for high estate. 
Our pain were lightsome howsoever great. 

But not on thralls are laurd wreaths bestowed.'* 
Misfortune ? Nay ! no jewel ever placed 

On human breast, but pales as tarnished dross. 
By that of the Cyrene compelled to take 

Our Saviour's burden. What were Hves disgraced 
To us, should Christ hereafter say : " The cross 

You bore was Mine ; you suffered for My sake." 



90 CHOR US OF BLACK PIECES, 



CHORUS OF BLACK PIECES. 

Why should men pine for hereafter when Life b so fair upon 

earth, 
Wise and well ordered by reason, awaiting a man from his 

birth; 
Trial sufficient to train him, bat final success for the just ; 
Never a sign of the fiiture when once he returns to the dust ^ 

Howsoever a man dareth. 

He is but breath : 
Wheresoever a man £areth. 
The end is death. 

Who are these that refuse to read, though the letters be 

graven on rock ; 
Seeking for grapes upon thistles, good fruit on an alien 

stock ; 
Bom to misfortune and ruin, sport of the winds and the 

waves; 
Boasting of knowledge and freedom, dying like ignorant 
slaves? 

Howsoever a man dareth, 

He is but breath : , 
Wheresoever a man &reth. 
The end is death. 



CHOR US OF BLACK PIECES, 91 

How should a miracle serve them ? Twere only an mcrease 

of toil ; 
Moments or minutes of respite before they are bound with 

thespoiL 
What though by keq>ing of angels, their feet stood an 

hundred times fast ? 
Scarce were the wonders worth working if lonely they fall 
at the last 

Howsoever a man dareth. 

He is but breath : 
Wheresoever a man fiueth. 
The end is death. 



MAMMOU: 



WHITS QUBEN. 

Tis Life's fair mom : in vain we seek our dead ; 

The other worlds are hidden from our sight ; 

How should we see them for the flood of li^t 
Brimming the asnre distance overhead ? 
Tis Life's dull eve, and gathering clouds are spread 

Fold ttp<Mi fold across the &ce of night ; 

What can we see ; how hope to read aright 
The dark beyond, when once the breath has sped ? 

Thy triumph, Prince of Earth, with dazzling sun 
Or gloomy shade to veil yoia gracious Face, 

That men should have no other gods but thee. 
Lost in time service. See ! thy day is done ; 

The clouds roll back and glittering beacons trace 
The Timeless pathways of Eternity. 



rHE MtRACVLOVS DRA UGHT. 93 



Through the long night they toiled, hut toiled in tain t 
Yet patt&ig ibith they plied the heavy oar, 
With padent labour cast the netft once more, 

And slowly drtthig sw^ the mimic main. 

The dragging mesh could scarce withstand the strain, 
As throng the deep its burden downward bore : 
But now a struggling, surging, flashing store 

Shews near the surface, and they guess their gain 1 
Sure, such a prize did never fishers land ! 

But only think : for all this shoal so great, 
Their creels were bare without the timely word 

From yon lone stranger on the shelving strand ; 
And learn that toil wins fortune soon or late* 



The loved Disciple said : " It is the Lord/' 



" TOaCH MS KOT.- 



Nor now ncr era itmS we wc on cmitb 
The &ce* loTCd, no moce the tekc* hcM : 
Ii it abeei fuaj thU tbc dead ue semr. 

That angel* guide oui itepi to bettet woitb. 

And demons drag m dmm with baleful mirth t 
Coald we bat tooeh, but feel lone pntoMe here 
Other thin »elf, man's bmdieThrood weie dear. 

Our life transfigured^ and oui dyip£, lurth " 



Ad empl; tixab, « brcAen heart, a aj : 
"Taken away — I know not where ; " but Thoa 

Wert there to glorify lament to praise : 
" Mar7 1 " She turning knew her Master nigh : 

EtenuU word : " Thou maj'st not touch Me now. 
That (hou maj'ft /hum Me throo^ the after dayi," 



CHORUS OF CNBSSMEN. n 



CHORUS OF CHESSMEN. 
STROPHE. 

Never the same : the restless tide of being 

Ebbs ere its flow is spent ; 
Nor ear with hearing, neither eye with seeing, 

Lulleth to sweet content ; 

No piesent fancies last ; 
Fairer the future, sweeter still the past» 
Never the same. 

Wisdom is young : time was when Man like Nature 

Battled in open strife ; 
When cruel hearts and craft and strength of stature 

Carried the palm of life. 

That time has passed away» 
And Mind nor loves nor hates like brutish clay. 

Never the same : the fount of dead tradition 

Wells from a poisoned spring : 
No song divine, when answering contrition 

Curses like war-cries ring. 

Go ! pen your psalms anew. 
But other han^ than yours in blood imbrme* 
Never the san&e. 



CHORUS OF Cf/SSSMBN. 



ANTtSTROPHl. 

£ver the same : one Word throughout the ages, 

Deeper than outward fotms ; 
Soundings of ocean^ though the tempest rages, 

Vexed not by passing storms \ 

And on that Word we rest. 
Our past and future hi the present blest, 
Ever the same. 

Wisdom is old : though arms or bribes succeed not, 

Ambush can scarcdy tiul s 
Peace 1 peace ! they cry, and men towB>nurtured heed n 

Signs of the savage trait 

Think ye the Powers of 111 
Dead, when ye see not how they work their will. 
Ever the same? 

Ever the same : the Psalmist hurled his thunder, 

Warring with evil men : 
We see, behind the curtain torn asunder. 

Prompters beyond his ken ; 

And reading through the lines. 
Pray for his fall who God and Man maligns, 
Ever the same. 



CHOR US OF CHESSMEN. 97 



STROPHE. 

Ever alone : no enemy or neighbour ; 

Each for himself must care : 
Why should another profit by our labour 

Save when he earns his share ? 

Why meet in arms a foe ? 
Buy him : the wise both love and strife forego» 
Ever alone. 

Foolish it is to give without receivings 

Sowing and not to reap : 
Wise if the lesser gains to others leaving, 

More for ourselves we keep : 

Surely those hands succeed 
"Which give when gifts to self-advantage lead, 
Ever alone. 

Ever alone : in living and in dyings 

Careful and calm and strong ; 
Curbing our passions, on control relying. 
Hoping to prosper long : 
Knowing too well to trust ; 
For meet life as we may — ^meet death we must, 
Ever alone. 

7 



98 CHORUS OF CHESSMEN. 



ANTISTROPHB. 

Never alone : one world-wide kin of brothers 

Bearing the common load. 
Asking no price for kindly deeds to others. 

Thankful for help bestowed ; 

Making no truce with Sin, 
Herald of Death, if once to terms it win, 
Never alone. 

Faith begets faith : as ye shall mete be meted 
Care of your fellow-men : 

For others work y—your work shall be completed ; 
Your day fulfil, and then 
God*s peace your souls shall keep, 

For so He giveth His belov^ sleep. 

Never alone : that formless void One only 

Traversed with none to guide : 
God knew forsakenness, when mocked and lonely. 

Scourged and pierced He died ; 

And by that last black hour 
Through Death's dark gate we pass begirt with Power, 
Never alone. 



WHITE KING, 99^ 



WHITE KING. 

Our task is done : pat by the mimic host ; 

Yet stay, O stranger, ere we close the boards . 
The while I proffer what I value most. 

The fairest treasure from my palace hoard, 

The thought that sums the measure of my days. 

" Only a thought," you say, '* and this a king 1 *' 
Only a king of chessmen, one who plays 

When mortals work ; the shadow not the thing. 

I dreamed : " How wisely, were I king indeed. 
My hands should turn the subtle reins of State ; 

Here would I curb, there urge to swifter speed. 
Making my people rich, my kingdom great. 

" Yet more, (for Virtue is my chiefest aim), 
How my ensample from its lofty height 

Should draw men upwards till my single fame 
Was lost amidst our constellation bright." 



loo WHITE KING. 



A not ignoble dream. You know how long 
Unseen, unsought, we chessmen idle lie ; 

My day-dreams were my heaven. Is it wrong 
To snatch a blissful foretaste ere we die? 

What are our day-dreams? Poppies for the mind, 
Soul anaesthetics, sleepy songs to soothe, 

Birds downward gliding, sails before the wind ; 
A world we make ourselves may well run smooth : 

None else its heroes ! We the wisest, best ; 

Our virtue always victor at the last ; 
Our worth acknowledged, with the added zest 

Of conquered prejudice, and perils past. 

Could gods do more, or heaven shew more fair? 

Ah ! fruitless tilling of a barren land ! 
Time lost while building castles in the air, 

Might save our houses from the shifting sand. 

False rest unfits us for our daily task 
Seeming so mean beside some larger sphere 

By Fancy sunlit ; there content we bask. 
Forgetful of the pressing problem near. 

For each, beside the game that all must play, 
One special quest can solve, which more than all, 

His gifts, his failings fit him to essay ; 
And whoso shrinks from this neglects his call. 



WHITE KING, xox 



Ah ! could we only know and strive and wait, 
Each can be best in something ; though unseen, 

Unwrit, that something makes him truly great ; 
The step by which a Pawn becomes a Queen. 

Unlike yet like is human life to chess : 
We play and lose, bat mark the losing move ; 

Future encounters former faults redress ; 
One game is lost, henceforward we improve. 

Not so with Man : his &ttlts he needs must bear, 
His and his f&ther's ; not for him to claim 

A fresh set board, another starting fair : 
For life and not for love, he plays the game. 

Not always so. In Nature as in Mind 
Are times of sleep, of deep refreshing rest, 

When evil growths die out or prove more kind. 
When shafts miscarried truer aims suggest. 

But used by custom to such healing change. 
So well attuned to harmonies before, 

You weave fresh destinies nor think it strange. 
As one by one yon drop the threads of yore. 

Yet sometimes Life like morning dawns afresh, 
Fair and unblemished. See I the tangled cord 

No more a Gordian knot ; the fiital mesh 
Unloosed as though *twcre severed by a sword. 



loa WHITS KIHG, 



A miracle like this comes home to none, 
Save through experience : we chessmen know 

How often when the game is lost and wcm, 
Our ranks are formed again in serried row. 

And you, O stranger, this same wonder &ce. 
Of Nature raised to Supemature*s height. 

When goodness through mcmdity you trace^ 
And Conscience, through your consciousness of right. 

To see yourselves with other people's eyes, 

To feel as others feel is moral force ; 
Self-knowledge, by whose help you slowly rise 

Step after step in uneventful course. 

To see yourselves as human natures seem. 
With all their mingled motives understood. 

Is Revelation ; consciousness supreme 
Whose touch transfigures evil into good. 

A man may batten on unholy things. 
Or thrive on meannesses more vile than sins : 

Shew him himself; with loathing back he springs, 
The old life passes and the new begins. 

Tis thus in chess : full well we know its laws. 
All save the one which sets the board again ; 

That motive owns direct immediate cause. 
Not move by move in long unbroken chain. 



WHITE KING, KQ 



Tis thus in life : though known through every term 
The laws of growth, to birth you find no due ; 

The miracle which formed the primal germ. 

Still shows itself, transforming ** old '* to *' new.** 

Nature or Supemature ? If you play 
One game, or one of many, none can guess ; 

Nor if the fight once lost, so lost must stay, 
Or start anew unbiassed as in chess. 

The very burden crushing you to earth, 

May or may not be turned to counterweight ; 

Your fear of death become your hope of birth : 
** May or may not " : nor fixed nor free is Fate. 

Here speaks a Personality whose plan 

Exceeds your measurement : the straits which part 
Sequence from consequence, surpass your span ; 

The undiscovered country has no chart 

A King myself, though only Piece and Pawn 
Obey my bidding ; ne'er should my behest 

Be known by forecast, or the veil be drawn 
From Royal counsels l^ intrusive test. 

Nor fixed nor free is Power supreme : I reiga 

By law, but over law I law assume. 
Think you my clemency is asked in vain, 

Or tabled for law-breakers to presume? 



I04 WHITE KING, 



The miracle we prove is like to yours ; 

An interr^;num breaking Nature's reign : 
Whilst I 2iia free, the law of chess endures ; 

Then lapses till the game b^;in8 again. 

4. 

I solve my problem. To one's self though blind. 
Another's eyes may turn the false to true : 

For this one evening was my quest designed. 
And this the treasure that I give to yon : 

The thought that something which I cannot prove. 

Itself is token of a larger scheme, 
A world beyond ; upon these squares I move. 

But there reality and here the dream. 

Not we ourselves the diess-board re-array ; 

Your destinies are shaped beyond your ken ; 
And thus I know that higher Natures play 

With us at chequers, as in life with men. 



BLACK Kt:fG. los 



BLACK KING. 

Still as of old thou art dreaming. 

Leaving the near for the far \ 
Losing the truth in its seeming. 

Searching the skies for a star. 
Versed in design and decreeing. 

Skilled in fantastic conceit ; 
Busy with fate and foreseeing. 

Blind to the pit at thy feet. 
Miracles ! yes, there are plenty. 

Most that is under the sun : 
Why should we leave out the twenty. 

Pinning our faith upon one ? 
^* Miracle *' only means wonder ; 

Name not impossible acts : 
There you and I part asunder. 



BLACK KtUG, 



All my belief ii in &cti, 
Tliingi in their nreDe» or Ereqnence 

ClasiGed : hence we have l&wi 
Telling of method and leqnaice, 

Silent of ultimate eaoK. 
Alt that we learn from their speaking, 

Wbetbet at chetsmen or men, 
ProTCi not the " why " we are seeking. 

Only the "how and the when." 

Wherefore to ^anti men grow not. 

Why we tboold Dwve as we do. 

Save that it ii lo ; I know not : 

Tell roe, O strango; do yon? 

Fain wonld my rival perraade yoo 

"Fortune is proof of a Mind 
Ruling the foices that nude you : " 

Nay t U is you that are blind. 
FiMtune may ofktimes prove faithless, 

Man reason wide of tbe mark. 
Pass throng a thonsand deaths scalhlesK, 

Die from a step in the daik. 
This it DO wanton exception. 

Laws are not broken at will : 

Fsle is yoiv lack of perception, 

Fortnne your absence of akilL 

Action competes with reaction. 

Peace in its Inro b^ets strife : 



BLACK KIHG. 107 



All you can know bat a fraction 

Left from the summing of life. 
Yet^ had you wisdom to learn it, 

Laws axe perfected through change, 
Natural when you discern it, 

Wonderfid only when strange. 
Miracles cease to be wonders 

Once they are matters of course ; 
Children alone when it thunders. 

Dread supernatural force. 
So ends the miracle, — treasured 

(Granting of course it was true). 
Only for this, that it measured 

Laige by the litUe men knew. 
Folly to beat the bush longer ; 

" Mirade " really means lie : 
Come, let us see which is stronger, 

You, O my rival, or I. 
Surely, if Life be a struggle 

Dwarfed by a larger campaign. 
Some supernatural jugl^e 

Turning man*s loss into gain. 
Then are your miracles needless. 

Why intervention at all ? 
Wrestlers of triumph were heedless. 

Gained they a prize by their fall. 
Changing the v&iue is fencing ; 



BLACK KIKG. 



Voa and I know vei; wdl, 
En^i^ keepi toodi with coDmenciiig, 

Tree* will be fbmkd where th^ Tell. 
Micadca graft upon Nitare 

Saaetliiiig that Natine diiprares ; 
Men adding cabits to itatiire, 

Cbessmen CKtending theii mores. 
Sl^i then, if loiii^ or winning, 

Eie the last rallj ii fought. 
Since yon and I knew beginning, 

Waa there tuch miracle wiooght ? 
Only in ancient tiadition 

Catflea mora cta»wi»e like Qoeeos, 
CaptiTct come back to position. 

Phantom delisce intervene*. 
Dreamily to graccfnl and pleasant 

Pits not with age at with youth ; 
Where is Tovt sgn for the present ? 

Living, not dead, thould be Truth. 
All that we ask is some token, 

Pfoof that a Pretence is near ; 
Let b«t the ttitlnett be Iwoken, 

Snashine of shadow appear. 
SBiely the Plafei who moret you, 

(If there be PUyen at aU), 
Knows that his dlence ditproret you ; 

Faili not to aniwer joui call 7 



ERIC, to9 

^o ? — ^not a s^ from the distance, 
Time then my triumph to claim ; 
Yield, or dse prove your assistance :— 

ERIC. 

Strangett^ where all is strange ! 77ie vision fades^ 
The men are only chessmen after all; 
The gamey the one I followed on the boards 
Just as I left it ere I fell asUep^ 
Wanting but one more move for Black to win ; 
NotyoUi but /, Sir King: J make it — thus* 

BLACK KING {ftttntly^ OS from afar), 
" Check I and this gives me the game." 

ERIC. 

Hard, though in sport, that wrong should conquer right ; 

Or I should help to lose the day for White, 

Thinking that Black would recognize my aid. 

Forgetful that delusions when self-made 

Defy realities. What did it mean, 

The tangled exit of the closing scene ; 

That vanquished Kii^, his look less sad than proud, 

And this with all his service disallowed ? 

Ah 1 woe is me who fail at slighter test, 

In solemn earnest than this toy in jest : 

I see it now — there lies a larger field 

Where man may conquer though a chessman yield. 

Black reasoned closely : there exists no scheme 

Dividing things that are from things that seem. 



iio 7HR ADVERSARY, 

And yet, and yet, — methinks the floating wrack 
Bespoke another world unknown to Black : 
But he. Agnostic, boond by what JU knew. 
Ignored the tokens that we know are tme. 
And his the self-same aigoment forsooth. 
Disproving God, that men accept as truth 

THB ADTERSA&T. . 

Vainly they strain at their cords 

Who are bound for the knife ; 
Idly they plead with their Lords 

For a leasing of life. 
A little more keeping of pleasure 

In trouble to end, 
A little more heaping of treasure 

For others to spend. 
Braggarts, uncertain of aim, 

Overshooting your goal, 
Fools who have won me a game, 

And have lost me a souL 
Fallen the masks firom your faces : — 

Home ! — to your chest, 
Silent and dark be your places, 
, Senseless your rest. 

ERIC. 

" Silence and darkness," nay ! but speech and light 
Through all my days, O friends, from this *' good night *' 



THE CHIMES, iif 



THE CHIMES. 

FIRST QUARTER. 

LORD, we raise our grateful numbers, 
(Softly while the city slumbers). 
Blest the want that Thou completest, 
Thou who man's shortcoming meetest. 
Prayer of all God's gifts is sweetest, 

SECOND QUARTER. 

Surely, since through Thy decreeing 
Increase comes and joy of being. 
Prayer is good, but best fulfilling : 
Man's the wishing, God's the willing. 
Hush I a warning voice is speaking : 
*' Good the findings best the seeking" 

THIRD QUARTER. 

" Ten were cleansed, for one returning : " 
Wants supplied, forgot the yearning ; 
Gates that open wide for wanting, 
Close to needle's eye by granting. 
Gift there ist more craved for takings 
FcLst^ the keener for the breakings 
7 hirst f the deeper for the slaking. 



THS CHtMKS 



rODKTH QUARTBK. 
Grant thii Uurst and hunger blenM, 
More denred the more possetied i 
Chrittnuu giA, God-ptesent bringing : 
Mora will hear ou joj-bdli linging. 
Year by yair ring in Thy Hrikday, 
TUI TJiy maing ends eur Earth-day : 
niiu the thirst, and Tieu the river. 
One far ever, Cifl and Giver. 

Clock Stkikes Twblvb. 









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